Melanie is a tech YouTuber who loves social media and is an expert on internet culture. She also runs a YouTube channel: The Curious Coder.
SEO often requires tedious work -- checking backlinks, viewing traffic details, looking for keywords, etc. Many tools have been created to take out a lot of the data entry type work that makes doing SEO a big pain. Finding the right tools, however, can be difficult.
I get a lot of questions from people wanting to know where to get free SEO tools that also get the job done. This list is a great resource that you can have in order to find and use some of the best tools of the trade. Many of these tools are the same exact tools that many big-name SEO rockstars use!
Absolutely none of these tools come at a cost -- they are all 100% free. It is important to note that many of these tools require the usage of Firefox instead of Internet Explorer as they are Firefox add-ons/plug-ins. That said, many people already use Firefox because of its ease of use and the huge number of plug-ins available.
Firefox isn't really an SEO tool per se but is extremely helpful in SEO. This is because a large number of SEO tools are actually just plug-ins for Firefox. Firefox is a free web browser that was one of the first to offer tabbed browsing.
More websites are compatible with Firefox than Internet Explorer as writing websites for Firefox is significantly easier than IE. Also, Firefox supports more features than Internet Explorer.
So, while Firefox is NOT an SEO tool, it's really something that you should be using anyway -- especially if you are multitasking (something that you'll do a lot of in SEO.)
NoDoFollow Firefox Plug-in
If you've ever heard of a do follow link or a no follow link, you'll understand the importance of a no-follow do-follow plugin. Find one here. Such a tool is very important as it's a very quick and easy way to tell whether or not a particular link is no-follow or do-follow.
If you've never heard of dofollow links, it's important to know that they are one of the most important aspects of SEO. Getting backlinks is extremely important because they help a site rank higher in the search engines. If a backlink is no-follow, it will not help your site get ranked. Because of this, you will want to get only dofollow backlinks as they are the ones that give you link juice, helping your sites get ranked in search engines.
Without a NoDoFollow plug-in, you will have to manually look at the code for each and every website to see if it's a dofollow link. Who, in their right mind, wants to spend hundreds of hours doing that? Let a free plug-in do it for you! It does all the work for you by making all nofollow links red and all dofollow links blue.
To enable or disable the tool, just right click and go through the menu options. You don't even have to restart Firefox!
SEO for Firefox
If you're building a niche site or doing SEO for more than just a few keywords, SEO for Firefox will literally save you hundreds of hours of redundant, boring work.
One of my favorite features of this Firefox plug-in is that it allows me to check on the PageRank of competitors' websites. Many people use the PageRank tool on the Google toolbar to do this, which is great, but with SEO for Firefox, you don't have to open each website in a new tab. What the tool does is modify a Google SERP to show a TON of information for each result.
The tool shows how many backlinks a site has, its PageRank, its age, its last Google cache date, and more! Everything is listed right below each listing in the search engine so you can quickly see all the data you need.
This tool is especially helpful in researching competition and is also great for doing keyword research. When you are doing keyword research, just do a quick Google search of a potential keyword and take a peek at the competition to see if the keyword is something that you can possibly rank for!
If you like SEO for Firefox, you will love Rank Checker. Both SEO for Firefox and Rank Checker are free Firefox plug-ins developed by SEOBook, a company known for their SEO training.
It's important to know where your sites rank for keywords you are targeting. If you are just trying to rank one site for just a handful of keywords, you can simply Google those keywords and manually check where you rank. That seems simple enough, but when you have a number of websites, each with their own keywords, doing manual searches can quickly become tedious.
Rank Checker takes the tedium out of checking your sites' SERPs. All you have to do is enter your site's URL and the keyword you're targeting and it will tell you where your site ranks for each of those keywords. While this tool takes out a ton of the work, it's a good idea to save your keywords in a text file as Rank Checker does not save your keywords. This way, you won't have to manually enter your keywords each time -- just copy & paste and voila!
Website SEO Score Tool
The Website SEO Tool is a dream if you're fairly new to SEO. What it does is help you diagnose problems that your site has that may be affecting its ranking in search engines. It's not the end all and be all of SEO tools, but it's great because it's so incredibly easy to use and offers a quick snapshot of things you can improve on your website.
To use this tool, all you have to do is go to the Website SEO Tool website and enter your website URL. After you input your URL, the tool will take a minute or two to generate your report but will give you some funny sayings while you wait. Your website's report will show you some things you're doing correctly and where your site needs improvement.
This tool is especially helpful for those who are new to SEO as it teaches some of the different things that make a website "SEO friendly." If you've not yet been convinced to switch to Firefox, that's okay! This tool does not require you to download anything or install a plug-in, it's completely web-based.
All In One SEO Pack for WordPress
If you have niche sites, chances are you use WordPress. All in One SEO Pack is one of the most popular WordPress plug-ins because it takes care of all the on-page optimization which is an extremely important aspect of SEO regardless of whether or not you use WordPress.
All you have to do is install the plug-in and configure it by entering a bit of information about your site (title, keywords, etc) and you're good to go!
Google AdWords Keyword Tool
Doing keyword research? The Google AdWords Keyword Tool is an absolute must! While the purpose of the tool is actually for businesses looking to advertise using Google AdSense, some of the tools in AdWords are amazing for SEO. To be able to use these tools, you must have an AdWords account (don't worry, you don't have to buy anything.) If you already have an account with Google or Gmail, signing up is a breeze.
The AdWords Keyword Tool allows you to find out approximately how many searches people make for particular keywords. This is important when selecting keywords because you don't want to select phrases that nobody ever searches for!
The tool also shows what the average cost per click is for each keyword. This information can be used to give you an idea of how much money can be earned if you are trying to make money with Google AdSense.
To use the tool, just enter some keywords you think you would like to rank for. The tool will show you information about the keywords you entered and will also offer you some similar keywords you might want to try. This aspect alone makes the AdWords Keyword Tool great for brainstorming.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
hamza ijaz from pakistan on May 19, 2020:
I think SEMrush is missing in this guide. By the way nice effort.
Gokulraj K N on January 02, 2018:
Helpful article. Many SEO related articles are focused on google like brands' services and you suggest more open sourced tools. Really helpful.
Isparmo from Jakarta on March 08, 2017:
I use Firefox + Ahrefs, Woorank, SEOQuake Addons. And I use too Google Chrome + Mozbar addons
Scott P Williams on April 12, 2014:
Great Info, thank you
Lohrainne Janell from Fairfield, IA on July 30, 2012:
Thanks for the info. A lot of it is new to me.
ShaamCA from India on July 26, 2012:
I haven't tried some of these tools.SEO for firefox is best tool,it sounds good.
Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 31, 2012:
I just downloaded Firefox from your link. Had been using Google Chrome. Will try out firefox and these tools now.
Thanks for a wonderful hub. I'm a novice as far as SEO goes so I'm trying to learn all I can.
Bookmarked this hub.Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
Voted up and all the way across. Shared too.
Erin Buttermore from Laconia on May 28, 2012:
Wow! Great advice, I am downloading these now and can't wait to read more of your hubs. Thank you for this great information!
kelleyward on May 28, 2012:
I've read this before and had to come back to check and make sure I'm doing all of what you recommend! I love Google keyword and learned a lot from your do not follow backlink information you had here! Thanks again for sharing these recommendations! Voted up and shared! Take care, Kelley
WhitepaperDepot on May 17, 2012:
Another SEO-related Firefox tool I find quite useful is SearchStatus. It combines a couple of useful features and contains a no-follow highlighter among others.
exthus on May 15, 2012:
Great hub and great tools.. one I would recommend for keyword / serp tracking (if you have dozens of keywords to monitor like I do) is serptool.com (not my site, but I am a member), it's not free but its very cheap starting at $5 per month, and it checks your google ranking every 2 hours, logs it and tracks it.
RZed from UK on May 08, 2012:
Hi Melbel - I use most of these tools and they are definitely all well worthy of a mention. I hadn't heard of the Firefox Plug-in. Definitely going to give it a try.
Great hub. Appreciate the information here.
Brightonbreezy from Brighton, UK on May 03, 2012:
This is a great hub. I'm very big on SEO so all this kind of help is very useful. I had no idea about those tools and it's even better that they're free. Thanks.
Michael Phoenix from Allentown, pa on April 09, 2012:
Using Google Analytics, most of my traffic comes from Internet Explorer followed by Google Chrome. What are the tools I can use for these two browsers?
I have downloaded Firefox and the some of the plugins as a good tool to start improving my seo. Thanks for this article!
Renz Kristofer Cheng from Manila on April 08, 2012:
This is so helpful! I have many things to learn regarding SEO. And this one really helped me in that regard. :)
senderwollas from Earth :) on February 10, 2012:
Can you suggest any firefox plugins to check on-page factors?
BTW, the hub is really great, thanks for the info!
stevenmarsh on January 15, 2012:
Thanks for these tools. My favorite is All In One SEO Pack. Its amazing plugin. Also I like RObots Meta
Vincent F from Indiana on January 11, 2012:
I have just started using the NoDofollow plugin and love it. Before then I would be commenting on sites never really knowing if they were do or nofollow. Great tips.
TheRedThing on December 04, 2011:
thanks! especially love the Website Grader, improved my site score from 53 to 57 already:)
jfay2011 on November 26, 2011:
thanks for an informative hub. I think I will check out page ranker and some of the others. I just started using google keyword tool and that seems to be helpful. Maybe I will get a title from there sometime.
ukbusiness from Bristol, UK on October 27, 2011:
Just been reading and do you think it will change now that Google have introduced the whole SSL keyword restrictions?
Its going to make accurate keyword research a lot harder at least
Cloverleaf from Calgary, AB, Canada on October 23, 2011:
Hi melbel, I really appreciate all the wonderful tips you have shared with us here. I am currently trying to learn as much as I can about SEO and you've taught me some new tools today that I am very eager to go and check out now - thanks! Tsmog sent me your way and recommended your teachings in his newest hub.
LunaWebs on October 07, 2011:
Great information. I also use google keyword tool, but I think sometimes just because there is low competition showing, doesn't mean lots of people trying to organically rank for it. Low PPC does not always mean low competition. Great article, nonetheless.
Venture Boyz from Floating in the clouds on October 01, 2011:
Thanks for sharing your expertise. The google keyword tool is a valuable resource. It almost seems that they should keep this information proprietary or limited only to adwords advertisers.
Kezber from Montreal, Canada on September 19, 2011:
Very useful post. It will certainly help a lot of people to improve their websites.
ArockDaNinja from Massachusetts, USA on August 30, 2011:
Definitely one of my favorite hubs. You should write an updated version for your fans. Up and following.
Rich Cederberg from Albuquerque, New Mexico on August 21, 2011:
Unfortunately the NoDoFollow plug in has not been updated to work with the newest version of Firefox. It's become an indispensible for me.
Website SEO Score Tool is a tool I didn't know about that I'm going to check out for sure.
Melanie Palen (author) from Midwest, USA on August 20, 2011:
Oh no! I'll look into that issue!
Deidre Shelden from Texas, USA on August 20, 2011:
Hmm, for several months now when I click on Columns, it does not appear on the list.
Melanie Palen (author) from Midwest, USA on August 15, 2011:
It's still there, it just no longer shows up by default. To get it to show, click "columns" and select "Approximate CPC." :)
Deidre Shelden from Texas, USA on August 15, 2011:
Great info! Do you know why the average cost per click column is no longer in Google AdWords Keyword Tool? (I'm asking in case a change was made to make it disappear and there is still some way to find it.)
toptrends from London on August 15, 2011:
Louisville Web Design on August 12, 2011:
Great article. It amazes me how many people still actually use Internet Explorer, without knowing what a great tool Firefox is. There are literally dozens of good SEO tools for Firefox.
sasta10 from Manchester, UK on August 08, 2011:
Great article, I have used tools such as Google keywords tool to do keyword research, it's a great and very useful tools that allows you to see keywords competition, popularity and no of searches for a particular word per month. Another great tool is keyword spy ( www.keywordspy.com ). Thanks for sharing this info.
Los Angeles Search Engine Optimization on August 03, 2011:
Can you please explain me about Niche sites?
ThoughtSandwiches from Reno, Nevada on July 30, 2011:
Thanks for holding my hand as we waded through some pretty murky water! Being new to the concept, SEO, has been nothing more than a very steep learning curb...thanks for helping flatten out that particular trajectory...now...back links...
darntoothysam from Burnsville, MN on July 22, 2011:
Now you get a big fat juicy thumbs up! =)
Melanie Palen (author) from Midwest, USA on July 12, 2011:
I'll do you one more! I added links to all the tools, pictures of the tools in use, and even a video explaining how to use one of the tools. Enjoy :)
darntoothysam from Burnsville, MN on July 10, 2011:
You only link to two of the tools, would be nice to have links to them all. =)
MarkupBox on June 28, 2011:
Some good suggestion in this hub nice to see such hubs thanks a lot..
deadlyking on March 09, 2011:
thank u ,i will try these tools... i will get you back what i get!!!
agraj from London, UK on February 19, 2011:
Correct, All in one seo pack works best i ever used, it is user friendly and simple navigation tool.
Snake Eyes from Canada on February 17, 2011:
Great list, I use Google Keyword all the time but I've mever heard of the others you mentioned. I'm going to check them out for sure
sheerplan from United States on February 14, 2011:
Thanks for the great info and the NoDoFollow link. I never knew that add-on existed.
Riob from United States on February 12, 2011:
Hi thanks for the list, i just try Seo For FireFox, its awesome :D
snoor87 on February 01, 2011:
nwwebservices on January 30, 2011:
Nice list of tools. The donofollow tool is a great idea. Thanks...
SEO St. Louis on January 26, 2011:
Great list. I use the Firefox SEO plugin and love it. The SEO Score tool sounds very helpful too--I'll have to check that out!
Melanie Palen (author) from Midwest, USA on January 24, 2011:
I'm glad you all really liked the tools. To Glemoh101, I don't keep track of my back links unless it is a professional endeavor. I currently just use a spreadsheet for that. I am working on developing some SEO tools that will take care a lot of the holes that there seem to be on the SEO tool market... at least to make it easier for me!
Glass Scratch Repair on January 22, 2011:
Nice list of great tools really appreciate it!
avinash14 from Delhi/Ncr on January 18, 2011:
Nice information. your hub will help for the seo who don't know about the tools. please share this type of information in your hub if you have more tools.
Glemoh101 on January 14, 2011:
What is the best tool you use to index your backlinks?
gvannorman150 from Newark, New York on January 10, 2011:
I am not sure that the problem is people not knowing about the free tools. It is not knowing how to properly use these tools to maximize their efforts.
dobo700 from Australia on January 03, 2011:
Thanks, I'm off to check out "Website Marketing SEO Score Tool" It's good when you get just one new tip, it makes it worht while.
Grant Handford from Canada on June 16, 2010:
Got to bookmark this hub and come back to it later.
Great info thanks.
mwatkins from Portland, Oregon & Vancouver BC on April 04, 2010:
I love these tools! you really picked some good ones! - Great hub! Thanks for sharing and for raising the bar when it comes to giving away 'FREE' information! ;-)
scheng1 on November 09, 2009:
haven't heard of the last two tools, I'm going to try out the second last tool now.
Cassandra Mantis from UK and Nerujenia on November 01, 2009:
Some good tips here! Thanks for a very interesting hub. Handy info to know!
Nishadha Silva from Sri Lanka on October 04, 2009:
I use most of these tools but haven't heard of Website Marketing SEO score tool , will check that out
Jason Bridges on October 02, 2009:
Thanks for this post. It helped me a lot.
SeoNext on September 22, 2009:
These are really very good tools.It helps a lot whenever you are seo on your website.Nice informative post.Thanks a lot for sharing this post with us.
Staci-Barbo7 from North Carolina on September 16, 2009:
Melanie, can you tell us a little more about why the NoDoFollow is significant? You can probably tell, I am new to SEO. Thanks.
Brian Stephens from Laroque des Alberes, France on September 16, 2009:
I was already using some of these tools but I hadn't come across the nofollow dofollow tool. Needless to say it has already been downloaded. Thanks for the share.
I have updated my SEO hub recently, have a look and see if it helps you out in anyway.